How do I start? I am so excited about my day! I was so excited just to race and be at a start line again, the rest of the day is just icing on the cake! This is the third year I have done this race and I think that is has landed on my yearly "must do" list. It serves as a progress measuring race for me to see how my winter training paid off and to see where I need to build or improve.
I got down to American Fork early, pathetically so if you ask Ken. I was there by 7:45 as I wanted a good racking spot, and I wasn't early enough to get where I would have wanted, but still, not a bad spot. I was on the first unreserved rack by the bike/run out part of transition, and I was able to get near the end. I set up and then talked with Alicia who was on her way down. This was her first tri ever! She was nervous, but I was just plain excited for her! It was chilly out, but not as bad as I remember it being from last year. Boy how that would change, but more on that later. Here are some pics I from pre-race, the bike one I took, so excited to have Belle in race mode again. The one directly below was on from Racetri. These two guys I met as they were racked right next to me. Nice guys!
This is a 300 m pool swim. I was excited for this swim as I feel that I have made progress in the pool this winter. I got in at the front of my group. This was a good place to be seeded and I only got passed once and passed two other people. I never got traffic jammed behind anyone and I felt great the whole time. I think it was a good comfortably hard pace, but one I was able to maintain. It was over before I knew it and my final swim time was 6:30, a 10 second improvement from last year!
Fairly uneventful. Had a heck of a time getting on my socks. I stopped and debated whether or not to put on my arm sleeves or not. I decided it wasn't worth it, a mistake I would regret later because I would freeze my arse off on the bike. Total T1 time was 1:23, a 3 second improvement from last year.
I ran out with Belle and had a heck of a time clipping in, so much so I almost fell over. What the heck? Anyhow, once I got clipped in, the rest of the ride rocked. I was able to fly up the first hill of this 2 loop, 12 mile bike ride. I felt awesome that I was able to pass people on the climbs, thank you Sufferfest! I swear those videos helped a ton over the winter. Once to the top I settled into aero and decided to try to ride as aggressively and hard as I could maintain. I practiced an even pedal stroke and felt strong. I was pretty cold, but I didn't let it bother me too much. I loved when we got around to the Alpine Highway, I flew down that! I only wish we had a little more room, or I would have gone faster had I not had to worry about other cyclists or things parked along the curb. Oh well, it was a great bike. The second loop seemed good also, and the climb the second time I was able to pass people as well. Final bike time was 39:53 (around 19 mph) , a 3 minute improvement from last year! WOOHOO!
This was also pretty uneventful. I was stoked to see that they had bike catchers, so that always helps, but a a sprint?!? AWESOME! I simply handed off my bike and ran over to my spot where I kicked off my bike shoes and helmet, threw on my running stuff and was off. I did grab a quick GU and was ready to run. I looked down at my watch and the overall time was at 48 minutes. I knew I could have a really good PR if I had a good run. Total T2 time was 1:03, a 5 second improvement from last year!
I took off and immediately grabbed a water from the aide station outside of the transition area. I felt really good coming off the bike and was surprised that I didn't have that usual lead legged feeling that I usually have. I have heard that the better bike fitness you have, the less of an issue it will be to run off the bike, so I am hoping that is true! Anyhow, the run up that dang hill wasn't great, but I was able to keep it up and not walk any part of it. Honestly, the entire run I felt strong and knew that I really wanted a PR, so I tried to go as hard as I could maintain. I had some people pass me on the run (surprise, surprise) but was thrilled to see that none of them were in my age group! What the?!? I made it up to the Alpine Highway and knew that the rest of the course was literally downhill so I tried to gun it if possible. I was less than a mile from the finish and some chick comes blowing past me and of course, she was in my age group. Oh well, the way she was trucking along, she deserved it. But, I kept thinking that she was the only one I had seen pass me in my AG, so maybe, just maybe I could pull a podium finish! That thought really kept me going and I went as fast as I could to the finish. I did my normal finish line sprint and felt awesome! My final run time was 28:08 (a 9:03 pace). This was actually 22 seconds slower than last year. Dang run! It continues to be my nemesis in racing!
I found my family and enjoyed the finish line refreshments. Chocolate milk and bagels were awesome at that point. The medal rocked, as usual. I hung out for a very long while to see the final results and see that my overall time for this race was 1:16:59, a 3 minute and some odd second improvement from last year, and a PR! And it landed me a 3rd place finish in my new age group F35-39! I finished 19th overall female as well. I am beyond elated with this! I have never had a podium moment in a tri, I did take second in my AG up at Big Bear, but there wasn't any hoopla or anything. Racetri always does a little awards thing so I actually got on the block!
I got to hand it to Racetri, they keep outdoing themselves. Awesome event, superbly organized, cool shirt I will actually wear, and great medals. I love that they do an AG award as well. In my AG swag bag I got a cool pair of Feetures running socks, a $20 gift card to Utah Run, and some KT tape. And, I got the cool 3rd place medal seen bottom left next to the cool finisher's medal. And really, how can you top Aaron Shamy and his crew? I love racing with Racetri, and will try to squeeze in a few more of their races this season.
WHAT I LEARNED:
Consistency is key, baby. I swear, all of the hard work I have been putting in is finally paying off. I don't have talent, but to my credit, I do work hard. My training has for the most part, been spot on. I do need to work on my run, but what else is new? I am thrilled to see the gains I have made in every other category. Only 5 weeks left till IM St. George 70.3! And in reality, that is 3 weeks of solid training, and a two week taper, but also two races in between now and then, the Rage Oly Tri in Vegas and the SLC Half Marathon. Can't wait!
In the meantime, Happy Training and Racing!